Liverpool is going to host the current champions, Manchester United, on Sunday at Anfield. Liverpool have been in awful form this season, losing four league matches out of nine fixtures, which is two more than what they lost in the whole of the last season.
Also, they have lost four matches on the trot, which is the worst losing streak for them in 22 years. The main problems with their team are that they are injury-hit and are lacking in the midfield position, which was left by Xabi Alonso this summer.
They have tried a number of players, but nobody has had any success so far. Without the duo of Gerrard and Torres, the team has failed to fetch any results. They are currently languishing at the eighth place of the EPL table and are also in a do or die position in the Champions League as they look to qualify for the last 16 stage.
They were injury-hit, but as far as the latest interview of manager Rafa Benitez's comments are concerned, it is well-known that Rafa would be pushing each and every player for this match.
Though Gerrard will have a late fitness test on Saturday, it is well-known that both Torres and Johnson would be back for this fixture. They will come up with all guns blazing for this match as they look forward to end their miserable spell.
So Reina can start again with Johnson, Carragher, Skrtel, and Insua as their back four. Gerrard and Mascherano can start on the wings with Aurelio and Benayoun in the middle and Torres and Kuyt to start up front, making up a very good 4-4-2 formation for them.
But they have a very, very important fixture against Arsenal just three days after this match (i.e. the knockout match of Carling Cup). Arsenal, on the other hand don't have such a tough fixture, as they face West Ham on Sunday and could rest some of the players ahead of the big match on Wednesday.
On the other hand, Man Utd. are in great form, currently at the top of the EPL table and also almost into the Last 16 of the UEFA CL.
The only problem they had so far is their defence, which hasn't been top notch.
However, expect them to show the same form against Liverpool this weekend. Many players were rested for this Liverpool match, and with all of them coming back into the match except Park, it will be a great delight for all the Red Devils around the world.
Many people think that considering Liverpool's form, they will lose, but it won't be that easy, as Liverpool earlier this year ended Manchester United's unbeaten run with a 4-1 thumping win over them at Old Trafford!
Surely, Man Utd. will have an upper hand over them as they have some injury worries.
Man Utd. will look to take revenge on what happened in Old Trafford earlier this year. Edwin van der Sar has been good since his comeback, so he will start again with (probably) Rafael, as both O'Shea and Neville played for the full 90 minutes against CSKA.
Along with Rafael, Vidic, Ferdinand, and Evra can also start this match, making up a good back four. Valencia has been brilliant for us in our last two matches, so he can start again with Fletcher and Carrick in the middle, and Giggs, who was rested for the Moscow match, will start on the left flank with Berbatov and Rooney up front, making up a very good 4-4-2 lineup for us.
Though Man Utd. have a mid-week game which is just two days after this game (i.e. the Carling Cup second round), they don't have to worry much as they are facing Coca Cola Championship team Barnsley.
Defence: Neville, Ferdinand, Vidic, and Evra.
Midfield: Valencia, Fletcher, Carrick, and Giggs.
Forwards: Owen and Rooney.
I think Rafa should not and would not risk Gerrard again by starting with him. Torres shall be fit to play.
So this is how Liverpool will line up:
Defence: Carra, Skrtel, Agger, and Aurelio.
Midfield: Lucas, Mascherano, Benayoun, and Babel
Forwards: Kuyt and Torres.
Interesting Facts (In the Last Six Encounters between the Two Squads)
When these two teams met head to head, none of them ended in a draw.
All those matches were of Barclays Premier League.
United won four times while Liverpool won two.
United have won twice at home and lost once, while Liverpool lost two out of three encounters at home.
Liverpool managed to score only six goals against United's nine (cumulative aggregate).
Liverpool never managed to get a clean sheet, but United had it four times.
The match is scheduled at Anfield. The Capacity of Anfield is 45,276 with field dimensions of 111 yards by 74 yards. The surface is grass. Anfield was opened in 1884 and was previously used by Everton.
I think United will win, 2-0, with Giggs and Rooney on the scoresheet.